PESHAWAR: As many as 21 people were killed and 40 injured in a bombing at Eidgah Market, Parachinar Bazaar in Kurram Agency. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (Fazlullah group) spokesman Khalid Balti alias Muhammad Khurasani issued a statement which read, “Saifullah alias Bilal carried out the attack in Parachinar on Saturday.” He added, “The blast was in retaliation for killing Lashkar-e-Jhangvi chief Asif Chotu, along with three others in an encounter. It was to avenge the killing of our associates by security forces and to teach a lesson to Shiites for their support for Bashar al-Assad.” According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), a locally-made improvised explosive device (IED) exploded at the vegetable market near the Eidgah at 8:50am. Hospital sources at Khurram Agency said 11 dead bodies were shifted to Imambargah from where they would be handed over to the grieving families. Kurram Agency has witnessed scores of such attacks and kidnapping for ransom incidents in the past several years. The agency is adjacent to North Waziristan where Operation Zarb-e-Azb is underway. Parachinar is the administrative headquarters of the agency. Bazaars and other nearby areas in the vicinity remained in grief and fear on Saturday. Most markets in Parachinar were shut in mourning. People kept visiting the blast site and paid a tribute to those who laid down their lives in the tragedy. A chicken seller nearby the site of the incident said windowpanes of shops were broken due to the blast. He too suffered bruises on his hands. People said the blast had disturbed their routine life and landed them in shock and awe. The political administration confirmed the killing of 21 people in the bombing and said that more than 40 were injured in the explosion. The Edhi officials also confirmed that the army helicopters and FC Quick Reaction Force took part in the relief operation soon after reaching the bombing scene and cordoned off the area with the army helicopters evacuation of the injured. When contacted, lawmaker from Parachinar Sajid Hussain Turi claimed that the death toll increased to 21 and only 16 people were identified. Five others bodies, including two teenagers, were yet to be identified. The hospital authorities have confirmed that they have received more than 40 injured, wherein 13 of the injured in critical condition. The security forces rushed to blast site while the injured were shifted to agency headquarters hospital Parachinar as well. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak has imposed emergency in the hospitals of Peshawar. He stressed upon the need to extract the insurgents from the face of Pakistan. He shared the grief of grieving families and called for strict security measures. Security has also been beefed up across Pakistan in the wake of the bombing. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif condemned the blast. In their statements, they expressed deep sorrow, grief over loss of lives and sympathised with the grieving families. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed the authorities concerned to provide best medical treatment to the injured. Chaudhry Nisar has a report from the relevant authorities. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra said the war on terror would continue until the last terrorist is eliminated. He said the cowardly terror attacks could not weaken the nation’s resolve against the menace.